The Thursday Preview: Stevenage Vs Chesterfield

Posted by on Oct 27, 2010 in The Thursday Preview | One Comment

Asked in August to preview Chesterfield’s forthcoming League 2 campaign, I highlighted the lack of support for Jack Lester during last season as an area of concern for manager John Sheridan. That particular problem seems to have been rectified: the polish hasn’t yet worn off the Spireites’ new abode and it has already staged a 4-3 victory over Shrewsbury and a 5-5 draw with a resurgent Crewe. Unsurprisingly, the rising tide of goals has swelled the numbers clicking through the turnstiles, and an optimism absent in recent years has taken hold. On the pitch, Lester’s shoulders have been spared the usual heavy burden by some summer recruits, with 9 goals from unlikely British export Craig Davies going some way to restoring a reputation tarnished by brief, doomed dalliances with several League clubs in recent years. However, those of a incurably pessimistic nature will have changed tack, and noted a relatively high number in the ‘goals against’ column of the early league table. A three-point gap between the occupants of the summit and those following behind will provide little comfort should the goals dry up.

Meanwhile, a draw at home to Macclesfield and a defeat at Bradford in the opening fixtures of Stevenage’s long-awaited first League 2 campaign foretold a long hard slog to May. Results since then have overturned that early judgement and the ground no-one calls the Lamex Stadium has become something of a fortress, as Burton and Stockport have since discovered. The first few months in a new division offer a manager the time to assess his players’ ability to adapt and improve, and though those promoted with Stevenage last season have proved themselves capable of maintaining the League status craved for so long, the inexorable march to progress has continued. A handful of newbies with League experience have been called in to fortify the team confusingly still nicknamed ‘the Boro’, with some success, and Graham Westley’s men – new and old – have matched the pre-season prediction of Matt from the excellent FC Boro. The form of both sides suggests that last year’s Conference champions will find the going rough against league leaders rampant in recent weeks, but draws against the the likes of Rotherham and Crewe tell me that the points will be shared this Saturday afternoon.
As a kid, Stanley undertook an odyssey around the football grounds of London and North Kent before alighting at Millwall. Despite the efforts of Jason Dair and many others, as an adult he decided to move closer to the arena erroneously known as the New Den and is now a proud season-ticket holder.

1 Comment

  1. Stanley
    November 1, 2010

    The second Thursday Preview of mine, and the second 0-0. Third time lucky, let's hope.


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